By Abdoulie John
Campaigners are very concerned about the deteriorating health condition of detained Gambian journalist. Alagie Abdoulie Ceesay, Manager of Taranga FM Manager, has had his trial stalled in court. Ceesay has been denied the right to bail. He remains remanded.
“The case has been adjourned until February 8, 2016. The presiding judge is sick,” defence counsel Combeh Gaye-Coker told this reporter while indicating that her client’s medical state is ‘stable’.
This latest adjournment comes at a time when the defendant’s lawyers have filed a bail application in order for their client to return home as soon as possible. Alagie Abdoulie Ceesay spent more than two hundred days in detention and his health conditions have been a matter of serious concern. The judge was supposed to hand down a ruling in yesterday’s hearing.
“It must be made abundantly clear to Gambian authorities that they will be held completely responsible for the health and wellbeing of Alagie Abdoulie Ceesay whose continued detention and persecution remains the characteristic trademark that places The Gambia as one of the worst predators of the press in Africa,” warned in a telephone interview Committee To Protect Journalists (CPJ) West Africa Representative Peter Nkanga.
The case has left many observers flabbergasted as State prosecutors are still unable to make any headway due to the fact that star prosecution witnesses absconded to neighbouring Senegal for fear of their life.
President Yahya Jammeh, who seized power in a 1994 coup d’état, has been ruling The Gambia with an iron fist. His regime is often accused of gross human rights violations, including continued clamp down on political opponents and the media.